Temple Mount is a hill located in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, which, according to the Bible, was the site of several events in the life of Jesus Christ. The present site is a flat plaza surrounded by retaining walls dominated by three monumental structures from the early Umayyad period, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain, as well as four minarets. In the 12th century, the temple became the headquarters of the Christian Crusaders known as the Knights Templar and, according to archaeologist Dr Shimon Gibson, biblical relics were discovered below the temple.
Dr Gibson explained during ITV’s “Trial of the Knights Templar” how a remarkable find stunned a British officer in the 19th century.
He said in 2017: “This is a subterranean tunnel which was discovered by Charles Warren in 1857.
“At that time it was full of sewage and he floated down on the top of a wooden door.
“This tunnel is one of many hundreds under Jerusalem and, indeed, under the Temple Mount.
A series of tunnels were discovered below Jerusalem
The Temple Mount is a religious landmark
This temple would have been a goldmine of treasures for the Templars
“Of all the gates along the western side of Temple Mount, one can be certain that this gate was used by the Templars.
“Undoubtedly the Templars had this passion for relics, it was quite an obsession and those who came to the country were willing to kill not only Jews and Muslims but also local Christians in their search.”
The narrator of the show went on to discuss what Mr Warren found.
He added: “This was an entrance to the ancient Jewish Temple of Solomon.
“This temple would have been a goldmine of treasures for the Templars.JUST IN: How 3,000-year-old ‘confession’ scroll exposed ancient tomb secrets
Dr Shimon Gibson revealed how it was discovered
“One relic said to have passed through the Templars hands was the burial cloth apparently imprinted with Christ’s body, now known as the Turin Shroud.
‘Believed to have turned up in Paris with Saint Louie in the middle of the 13th century, the Templars were ideally placed to have brought him the shroud.”
Alain Demurger, from Paris University, agreed with the theory, adding: “They had the method, they had boats travelling to and from the Holy Land all the time.
“And remember, the Knights Templar was a religious organisation with a reputation for trustworthiness.”
Dr Shimon Gibson took viewers through the tunnels
Alain Demurger agreed with the theories
Rumours about the Templar’s secrets created distrust and jealousy worldwide.
King Philip IV of France – deeply in debt to the order – took advantage of this.
He had many of the order’s members in France arrested, tortured in to giving false confessions, and burned at the stake.
The abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation, legend, and legacy through the ages.